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Top Chef Texas – Episode 2: “The Heat is On”

Last week’s episode   Next week’s episode

Last week we saw the first two groups of chefs try to cook their way into the competition.  Several have made it into the competition from last week and there are some “on the bubble” who’ll get another chance to cook their way in.   In this episode, the rest of the cooks as well as the “bubble chefs” competed.  As I mentioned last week, there are far too many dishes cooked and I’m still trying to feel my way around the show.  So this post will again focus on the characters more than the food.  And since we really don’t know too much about the characters, it’ll be more about their appearances and first impressions.  Because I’m shallow like that.

Let’s do this!

Right off the bat, I’m seeing a bunch of ugly already.  Starting with judges Tom “Still rockin a soul patch 15 years after they were cool in a retro way” Colicchio and Hugh “G-Brow” Acheson.  (Get it? Huge Brow?) Once again Kevin Pang hits the nail on the head with his reference to Sesame Street – “Hugh Acheson’s eyebrow is brought to you by the letter M” :

Here’s the thing that scares me.  Whenever I see a unibrow like that I think Frida Kahlo or Bert (more Sesame Street) :

Bert’s are big hairy out of control things which suggest lack of willingness or effort in maintenance.  Acheson’s is thinner and more streamlined.  So there has to be some intentionally half-assed grooming going on.  This is going to haunt me as much as the Amish guy with braces.  Regardless of monobrow intentions, it was a good move by Padma to make herself look even better by surrounding herself by these guys.  She could’ve had Giada DeLaurentis as a judge, but would’ve been completely ignored.

Huh?  Where was I?  Oh yeah, the show… For the first challenge, the chefs had to choose one of 10 key ingredients for their dish but did not know they would have limited time. For instance, Andrew was hell-bent on doing chanterelle mushrooms, but was shocked to find he only had 20 minutes for the dish.

20 minute group

Andrew – Non-descript guy from Austin who kept whining about lack of time.  Judges unimpressed, but he’s put on the bubble.

Paul – Asian guy, also from Austin, who owns food trucks.  It’s easy to think that being from Texas helped him land a spot, but his dish looked pretty good.  In.

Kim – Not enough face time for me to rip on her.  Judges were unimpressed.  Out.

40 minute group

Chaz (John Legend-looking guy) – Poor time management led to him not even plating his food.  It’s a shame because he had some personality.  Loved that he admitted to having a hard-on for Padma.

Jonathon – Some young private chef. Out

Berenice – I didn’t even realize she was on the show.  Gone.  It’s ok, she’s ugly.

Laurent – Is he gay or really French?  Don’t know, but I’m enjoying watching him.  On bubble.

60 minute group

Ashley – Somewhat cute in a mousy hipster way.  She’s married to Filipino and is making Kare Kare – my all-time favorite dish.  I’d comment on it, but they didn’t even show the end result.   Seriously? A chef who doesn’t know how to operate a damn pressure cooker? Out.

Beverly – from Chicago’s Aria, in the lobby of the Fairmont Hotel. It was right by my office, so I went there a few times for lunch.  With her making it, all 6 Chicago chefs made it. Yes!

Lindsay – Oofah.  She’s ok looking and slender.  But she has a thick neck and mushroom cap hair the same colore as her skin. She looks like a penis. Thankfully, IN, so you can judge for yourself on the next show.

Bubble Chefs – any ingredient in 45 minutes

Ed?  I know him only as Sonny Chiba – Gashed his hand and bled all over the place.  But still rocked the dish.  In.

Molly the cutie –  Overcooked shrimp and she knew it.  Gone. Found a picture, I don’t think I was too far off.  Was I?

Laurent – went for it all with a concept dish of scallops two ways.  Executed well, but the concept itself was messed up. Scallop Tartare?  Really?  It looked nasty.

Andrew – Too vanilla to care.  Out.

Janine – I wasn’t really impressed with her.  I’m glad she’s gone because she’s ugly and whiny.

Grayson – Not bad looking, a little fleshy.  She had an unimaginative dish, but executed it perfectly.  In.

Of the final cuts, the two I didn’t care for – Andrew and Janine – will be coming back later in the season to get another shot at making it in the competition.

General observations

–       All kinds of commercials for Real Housewives of Atlanta.  I’d rather eat Laurent’s scallop tartare then watch that.

–       The pacing of the show was off.  It seemed like everything was rushed and I didn’t get to learn about the contestants or where they worked.

–       That said, this third group didn’t have the personality or skills of the first two.  I guess that’s out of necessity to keep people grouped together like that. Having the lesser chefs in one group made it more of a competition.  If they would’ve been spread out randomly, it would’ve been easy to pick out who would get eliminated.

–       Now that the 16 competitors have been established, we’ll now get to see more interaction between them in the house.  Based on previews, there’s going to be a lot of weeping due to the pressure.  Ugh…

–       Previews show Padma saying “I want to see some m-fing snakes on the m-fing plates.”  Channeling her Samuel L Jackson?  I was under the impression that she had the personality of wood.  Looks like she was trying too hard.

About thefoodandwinehedonist

I don't know everything about the world of food and wine, but I'm not going to let a small detail like that stop me from blogging about it.

7 comments on “Top Chef Texas – Episode 2: “The Heat is On”

  1. The Sicilian
    November 10, 2011

    Good recap–other than your obsession with how the women look.

  2. thefoodandwinehedonist
    November 10, 2011

    Yes, but was I far off on Lindsay looking like a penis? Way back in summer, before the season started, I said I’d try it but bail out if the show is either annoying or there’s a lack of eye candy…

  3. The Sicilian
    November 11, 2011

    Lindsay is odd looking but I never thought of a penis–until you brought it up! Hilarious. (And proves what men are always thinking about.)

    Sorry but the eye candy thing is going to be a struggle for you. Apparently you haven’t watched many seasons.

  4. Pingback: Top Chef Texas – Episode 5 « The Food and Wine Hedonist

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  7. Pingback: Top Chef Texas – Episode 1: “Everything’s Bigger in Texas” « The Food and Wine Hedonist

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This entry was posted on November 10, 2011 by in Cooking, Television and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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